Gov. Lee says 'elective' abortions considered non-essential procedure

This Jan. 8, 2020, photo shows the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A spokesman says Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's hope and expectation is that there will be no “elective” abortions performed in the state under an executive order that bars non-emergency medical procedures to free up equipment for hospital workers treating the coronavirus.

Lee spokesman Gillum Ferguson said Wednesday that the Republican governor doesn't consider elective abortions essential procedures.

Lee on Monday ordered a halt to non-emergency dental work and nonessential hospital and surgical outpatient procedures, though the order didn't specifically mention abortion. Governors in Texas and Ohio have made similar orders that have been interpreted to ban many abortions.

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